Sigga works with a student at the BCC.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Mosaic International

Mosaic’s partner in Tanzania, Building a Caring Community (BCC), has been amazed and blessed by the volunteers who have come from all points on the globe, including a small town in Iceland. Sigridur Ingibjorg Stefansdottir, or Sigga for short, found BCC shortly after graduation when she decided to search for volunteer opportunities using her occupational therapy skills. Throughout her experience, she has learned a great deal about BCC, herself, and working with children who have disabilities. 

What was her favorite part of working in the program? 

“Meeting the people and learning from them about what they have been doing with the children. I learned a lot of things I would never learn in Iceland because the situation in Moshi would never happen in Iceland,” Sigga said. “If you’re born in Iceland with a disability, you will have therapy right away. Some of the children [in Moshi] have only been in the center for two years, and they are ten years old, so they didn’t have anything for eight years. In the Pasua Center, my favorite experience was seeing how much the children had improved in two months.”

She became accustomed to finding ways to have an impact, as she describes her best day volunteering. 

“At the Pasua Center, Mama Edina misplaced the keys to the center one day and we couldn’t get inside. I said, ‘Hey, why don’t we walk around Pasua? There are a lot of things in Pasua that I haven’t seen.’ So we walked around with the children and they really loved it. They were showing me around the town and they were out in the community, meeting and speaking with different people.”

While volunteers don’t earn money, she feels richer from her experience. 

“I learned a lot about myself,” Sigga said. “As an occupational therapist, I learned a lot about how to work with children with disabilities. When they can’t tell me what’s wrong, I just have to look to find out. I also learned that you don’t even have to speak the same language to understand each other. You don’t have to speak the same language, but you can have a conversation. Even if we couldn’t speak, we have a connection: I am his occupational therapist, and he is my client.”

One cannot estimate the value of volunteering and the impact it has on all involved. 

“Nobody is so poor that they have nothing to give and nobody is so rich that they have nothing to receive.” - Pope John-Paul II.